Washington (CNN)White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's comments about sending the New York terror suspect to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had only signaled his support, not indicated that he was advocating for doing that.
Trump supports sending terror suspect to Gitmo, not advocating for it, White House says
"The point he was making is that he supports, or would support that, but he wasn't necessarily advocating for that. But he certainly wouldn't support it," she said.
Sanders added, though, that the Trump administration does consider the suspect "an enemy combatant."
Tuesday's terror attack in New York was the city's deadliest since 9/11. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov drove a rented van down a bike path, law enforcement sources have said. The attack killed six victims instantly, while two others died later. New York politicians and officials quickly labeled the incident a terror attack.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump told reporters: "We also have to come up with punishment that's far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now. They'll go through court for years. And at the end, they'll be -- who knows what happens."
He added: "We need quick justice and we need strong justice -- much quicker and much stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke and it's a laughing stock. And no wonder so much of this stuff takes place."